FITZPATRICK TRIUMPHS IN DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick holed a nerve-shredding putt at the 18th to win the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai by a single shot. The 22 year trailed Tyrrell Hatton by one shot as he stood at the 18th tee, but after Hatton carded a bogey at the last, Fitzpatrick calmly slotted in his birdie putt for a closing 67 to get to 17 under and secure his third European Tour title. “It's a great way to end the season,” said the golf in Dubai ambassador. “This is the best result of my career. There isn't anything better than that so it's been a very, very good week.”
Hatton was alone in second on 16 under, with Charl Schwartzel another two strokes back in third.
Swede Henrik Stenson posted a stunning 65 on Sunday to clinch his second Race to Dubai title, while Rory McIlroy also shot a closing 65 to get to 12 under.
Fitzpatrick started his final round one shot behind overnight leader Victor Dubuisson, but he made gains at the second and third holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard.
Fitzpatrick dropped into a tie for the lead when Hatton notched back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth to join him on 14 under.
But the Sheffield native rolled in his ten-foot birdie putt at the long seventh to regain the outright lead.
Fitzpatrick was inches away from making another gain at the eighth but watched his birdie putt just miss the hole.
Hatton began his back nine with a birdie to join his countryman at the summit once more, and when Fitzpatrick dropped a shot at the same hole, he found himself in second place.
But Fitzpatrick responded in style, firing birdies at the 11th and 12th to share the lead with Hatton on 16 under.
Hatton took the outright lead once more when he holed his birdie putt from four feet at the 14th and he pulled off a tremendous par save from the bunker at the 17th to stay ahead.
But after sending his tee shot into the water at the last, Hatton made his first bogey of the day to fall back to 16 under and open the door for Fitzpatrick.
And after getting up and down from a greenside bunker, Fitzpatrick, who won the British Masters presented by Sky Sports in his rookie season last year, nervelessly holed his four-foot birdie putt at the last for the biggest victory of his career before crediting his coaches, Pete Cowen and Mike Walker, who also work with Race to Dubai winner Stenson, with his rapid rise to stardom.
“They have just won the Race to Dubai with Henrik Stenson and myself winning today, and Danny Willett was in the running, as well; Chris Wood,” he said. “They have got some fantastic players.
“Obviously I'm very biased, but I think they are the best coaches in the world for multiple reasons, not just for teaching the golf game but just general life coaching, as well.
“I wouldn't be here without them; not playing the standard of golf that I have, anyway.
"It means the world. To win one of these Final Series events is really special, and this one in particular - obviously the last tournament of the year. For me to win on the final week of the year is special.
"Four footers aren't normally what you want for the win but to finish it off like that makes it a lot sweeter.
"It's been a long year for me, and I've got to admit, this is just icing on the cake as a year goes. It's been a great one."
Hatton remained focused on the positives despite missing out on a second European Tour title. He said: "Obviously it's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's been a great week and for me it's been the best year of my life. So I can't get too downbeat, but these things happen.
"You know, it is what it is and I'm happy with how the week went. I'm sure hopefully in the future, I'll take my next chance."
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